oystercatcher

Returning to Orkney

It was interesting to see how much had changed since we last visited the Orkney Isles in 2005. The roads are certainly a lot busier now, particularly around the neolithic sites of Skara Brae and Brodgar. Bird numbers too have changed. I don't recall seeing any feral Greylag geese during our last visit. Now there must be thousands resident, with many of the pairs having large broods of goslings in tow. The number of breeding waders compared to those on the Scottish mainland appear to be holding up well, particularly so the Curlews and Redshank in the southern isles. Unfortunately the same cannot...

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Tiree in June

Tiree in June - I had visited Tiree a couple of times before on day trips on the ferry from Oban and  had quickly found that a few hours stop off on the island was just not enough time to get pictures of the Red-shanked Carder Bumblebee that I wanted. In Scotland its distribution is restricted to Tiree and the neighbouring Isle of Coll. Otherwise it is only found on the South Wales coast and in the southern counties of England where it is in decline. This year we decided to rent a cottage on the island. Bumblebees aside the island’s birds did not disappoint. What was lacking in the range...

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